Since his passing, I have read so many posts about how people related to Robin Williams. And how his shocking death has shone a huge light on the issues of depression and mental illness. Somehow, because it was Robin Williams, who took his own life (the guy we all related to and loved for his capacity to shake us out of our own darkest moments), his death has made everyone a little less judgmental about depression and a little more tender towards the fragility of humanity. It is almost like his death highlighted a painful secret that most of us held, and that none of us could stand to look at until Robin's death blew that secret wide open. We could no longer ignore what depression was, and how it has always impacted us. It amazes me that one man (and I think that is what it took - someone like Robin to die from this) could have that kind of impact on mental illness in the world with the taking of his own life! After all, how many others have died from this dis-ease before him, and yet have had little impact, beyond the initial shock of their death?
I read an excellent article by Peter Coyote, a friend of Robin's (Read it here). He said that Robin's death might actually be his biggest gift that he gave to humanity. Not just anyone could have that kind of impact on the world. It takes someone who was pretty special, and loved immensely for who "we wanted him to be", to wake us all up..
Then there was the letter, written by Zelda Williams, Robin's daughter (Read it here). She explained that their family life had always been very private, but the final event of Robin's life had changed all that. After all, it was the only part of Robin that his family did not have to share with the world. She explained how he was always kind, and how he had always been so loved. She also spoke about how difficult it is to accept that they could never get the fact that he "was loved", to penetrate through to Robin's soul. Of course I can relate to this, and I saw it in my own dad (who has long since and tragically passed). I too am aware of this lack of being able to take in that I am loved at times, and I have seen this inability in some of my loved ones as well. Zelda, whether she realizes it or not, has contributed to the awareness of mental illness herself, just by sharing what the Williams' family life was like. We all think we knew him, but there is always that seed of doubt about whether he could really be "that good" in his "real" life. Robin seemed to embody what we believe to be kindness and love. Then to read that this was not only true on the screen, but also in his private life, validates how great our loss really is. Robin is like one of the great artist of the past; and he has left his stroke on the hearts of all, for eternity. Like other great artists of course, he is not here to see the impact that his art, which was "his life" has made on this planet. I think we are a little more healed because of him.
In conclusion, the last week has caused me to think about what it is that I want to accomplish with my own life. I have begun to think more about what it is that is really important and needed in this world. Like, what can I do to make the world a better place? I realize fulfillment is not achieved merely by making loads of money. Sure, money can help others, and we do a bit of that, but I still feel there is something more that I am suppose to do? I share my art, sure, and that seems to help some people, and I am really happy about that. But, I still feel like I am holding back a bit? I know I could do a lot more than I already do. I guess I will have to remain open for what that could be. This cartoon really summed it all up for me earlier this week!
I leave you with this short film, that I got from a friend's lovely blog post. See the blog post here). It is just a really sweet and honest moment about a man who suffered from the human condition, that we all suffer from. Robin, I love you! Jeanette, I know your secrets, and I love you too! Blessings all!